Review: Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys

Title: The Raven Boys
Series: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal
Publication Date: September 18, 2012
Pages: 409
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Rating: 

 

 

Please excuse this review if I’m a little vague or ramble-y, I read this book right before I fell into my blogging slump but really still want to share my thoughts on it.

Essentially the plot of the story is Blue’s family is full of psychics, that’s their thing—except her—and all her life she’s been told her kiss will cause her true love to die. But this never seemed like a problem, until four Raven Boys—the rich school kids who she always hated—suck her into their quest for a dead Welch king.

I finally understand what all the hype is about; I want myself some Raven Boys. This book was just so delightful. I don’t read a lot of books where magic exists in like a normal contemporary setting—usually it’s more fantasy-based, so this was a fun and bit different read for me.

I’m going to touch base on the writing really quick. Maggie’s writing itself is always detailed and beautiful. Her language is always strong and evocative, just as magical as the plot of the story. This book does a really interesting thing with point-of-view though. We’re in third person, and while it does usually focus on the group of around four main characters, it also switches to some of the less major characters. It’s not dictated by chapter or anything, it’ll just switch. At first it’s definitely an adjustment, but I think once you just make yourself keep going with it you almost forget. Continue reading

Review: Laura Stampler’s Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies

Title: Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies
Author: Laura Stampler
Genre: 
Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Publication Date: July 19th, 2016
Pages: 
320
Publisher:
 Simon Pulse
Rating: 

 

 

Confession time, I’ve always wanted to be Carrie Bradshaw. Okay maybe less disastrous in my love life—but in the sense of wanting to take the city by storm and have a kick ass writing career. It’s because of that reason that I fall sucker to stories like these.

Harper has gotten offered a summer dating blogger position at the teen magazine—sure she wasn’t their first choice, and she has essentially zero dating experience, besides a few less than memorable kisses, and she used her best friend’s personal and disastrous story for her submission. No big deal right?

Dating in the big city should be easy, except for mansplainers, free-loaders, a totally not her type dog walker, and possibly her type hipster boy. Add in overly competitive interns, an “aunt” that acts way younger than her age, and an on-deadline magazine and the crazy begins.

Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies is the perfect mix of Sex and the City and The Devil Wears Prada. As someone with big city dreams, reading it felt like having stars in my eyes. The fashion, the fun, the hustle, the bustle, the drama; all of it is New York in a nutshell. Continue reading

Review: Sarah Dessen’s Once and For All [ Biannaul Bibliothon – Day 2 ]


once and for all Title: Once and For All
Author: Sarah Dessen
Genre: 
Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Publication Date: June 6th, 2017
Pages: 
358
Publisher:
Viking Books for Young Readers
Rating: 

Today is day two of the Biannual Bibliothon! I know I’m posting a little bit late again, but I wanted to get in this blogging challenge of writing a review—which I kind of needed to get done anyway. This challenged is being hosted by MissSassyKassie so go stop by her blog!

Sarah Dessen is a queen to me, I absolutely adore all her contemporary novels. That being said, I had super high expectations for this book, and it was probably one of my most anticipated books this year. I mean a) it’s by Sarah Dessen b) her last novel Saint Anything was my favorite and c) this book’s protagonist has a mom that’s a wedding planner. THAT MEANS THE BOOK TAKES PLACE AT A TON OF WEDDINGS! I love weddings if you couldn’t tell.

But, I couldn’t help but feel a little let down. Don’t get me wrong, I totally enjoyed this book and it was a good one, but I just felt like the relationships between all the different characters—specifically Louna and her mom, and Louna and Ambrose—weren’t fully realized.

Basic plot, serial-dater Ambrose finds the girl he finally wants in Louna, only she doesn’t realize it. So to get her attention he makes a bet, he’ll try out her way of only dating one person, while she has to try out his way of dating almost everyone. First to cave loses, and winner get’s to pick the loser’s next date. OBVS CAUSE HE WANTS TO PICK HIMSELF FOR HER. Continue reading

The Ones That Got Away Pt. 3

I’ve fallen behind with my reviewing so these are a couple rapid fire reviews of “the ones that got away,” or books I read and am not writing full reviews for. I really enjoyed these, read the descriptions below as well as my condensed thoughts and ratings!

signs point to yes by Sandy Hall

If only Jane’s Magic 8 Ball could tell her how to get through the summer. With her “perfect” sister, Margo, home for her “perfect” internship, Jane is not going to be able to spend the summer writing fan fiction, as she had planned. And her emergency babysitting job requires Jane to spend the whole summer in awkward proximity to her new crush, Teo, a nerdy-hot lifeguard with problems of his own. With his best friend out of town, Teo finds himself without anyone to confide in…except Jane. Will Jane and Teo be able to salvage each other’s summer? Even the Magic 8 Ball doesn’t have an answer…but signs point to yes.

MY THOUGHTS: CUTE, LIGHT, SWEET, HATE TO LOVE
MY RATING: 

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking.

MY THOUGHTS: FUN SUMMER READ, SWEET BEST FRIENDS, ALL AMERICAN LOVER INTEREST, DEVELOPED, CUTE
MY RATING:  Continue reading

Review: Kathryn Prudie’s Burning Glass

Title: Burning Glass
Series: Burning Glass
Author: Kathryn Purdie
Genre: 
Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Publication Date: March 1st, 2016
Pages: 
512
Publisher:
Katherine Tegen Books
Rating: 

Forgive me if this is a little short, I read it a while ago but still wanted to get this up. 

I really like this book and the plot and the concept and characters and all that, I just think the pacing was off for some of it. That’s really my biggest complaint. I mean it’s like over five-hundred pages, and it didn’t need to be. The beginning where she’s just at the abbey just felt like forever. 

The auraseer ability was really interesting and unique. Essentially, these girls can sense and absorb the feelings of others and because of this they are trained to serve the Emperor. 

 I think the takeaway and what sets the magic system in this book apart from others, is that usually powers are considered a gift in other books or series but the auraseer ability definitely comes across more as a curse.

I mean not only does it force girls out of their families and lives to live in this abbey and train and serve against their will, but it all just seems overwhelming. Like Sonya–our protagonist who is an auraseer–is actually in pain and loses control because she becomes overwhelmed by those around her.

That’s really why I was a little more lax with Sonya, there were parts she really frustrated me but I kinda just had to remember what she was dealing with and how vulnerable it made her. She’ll never be my favorite protagonist but showing weakness also means something in my book. 

Emperor Valko is an interesting “villain.” I mean I definitely hated him the whole time but that was moreso because he was being abusive to Sonya–not necessarily in a physical sense, but all the same. Like he’s a manipulative slimeball,and not a very great ruler (a bit powerhungry and uncaring about the small people), but he isn’t even close to the worst emperor out there. So I hate him as a person but the whole overthrow thing was a little whatever. 

Anton on the other hand is perfect. Okay, maybe not perfect but pretty close. He’s the Emperor’s brother. Weird thing is they were raised separately and the whole time Anton thought Valko was dead and he’d rule. 

But he has that brooding and mysterious but at the same time sweet and caring trope covered, one I enjoy. Him and Sonya are really something. At first there’s definitely that untrust and combativeness between them but it quickly changes to understanding and protectiveness. 

Overall it’s an interesting read to anyone who likes fantasy books with a king system and rebellion, and aspects were unique but really some of the book dragged. 

Something else is this is going to be a series, but really the way the first book ends is kind of tied up. You can read it as a standalone if you want, which I like. 

Like I said, a little short and vague but I wanted to let y’all know about Burning Glass so here it is. 

LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK IN THE COMMENTS! 

Review: Nicole Williams’ Trusting You and Other Lies

Title: Trusting You and Other Lies
Author: Nicole Williams
Genre: 
Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Publication Date: June 20th, 2017
Pages: 
304
Publisher:
Crown Books for Young Readers
Rating: 

Disclaimer, I was given a copy of this book via Netgalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

I was a little iffy of this book at first, the whole idea of a family—including the parents—going to camp for an extended time (anything beyond a weekend or week really) didn’t really click with me. I don’t know, I was just like ‘don’t they have responsibilities, and why would they even want to go?’ That and the description gave it a sort of family counseling camp vibe and I was worried it would get a little too preachy or something.

But I had no reason to fear. Trusting You and Other Lies really hits the sweet spot of contemporary—it’s realistic and emotional while also having that cute camp experience and dream romance that makes it the perfect summer read.

Phoenix’s family situation is really screwed up and has really screwed her up. Two years ago, her father lost his job—her mom never worked—and he has yet to find one since. And in that time her parents have become totally absent, only being present when they’re fighting. This has made Phoenix into really the only reliable force and role model in her younger brother’s life. Continue reading

Review: Maurene Goo’s I Believe In a Thing Called Love

Title: I Believe in a Thing Called Love
Author: Maureen Goo
Genre: 
Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Publication Date: May 30th, 2017
Pages: 
336
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Rating: 

Y’all this is going to be a pretty brief review, but I just wanted to share with you this super sweet, kitchy, summer read.

Desi Lee is cute and totally me from high school. She does student government, plays soccer, all these other extra curriculars, and basically runs the school but isn’t necessarily the popular girl . The one thing she doesn’t excel at is talking to boys, she always ends up having all these accidents—like having her pants fall down.

So when she meets the handsome new artistic boy in school, she creates a plan to keep her from embarrassing herself—with steps taken from her father’s favorite K-dramas.

I don’t know a lot about Korean culture—or K-dramas for that matter—so it was really great to get a peek of it in this novel. I just loved picking up some diverse young adult this month.

 

Continue reading

Review: C.J. Redwine’s The Shadow Queen

Title: The Shadow Queen
Series: Ravenspire
Author: C.J. Redwine
Genre: 
Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Publication Date: February 16th, 2016
Pages: 
387
Publisher:
Balzer + Bray
Rating: 

As some of you might know from my reading history as well as a previous post I did—’Retellings I Want to Read’—I love retellings, so I was really excited about picking up The Shadow Queen. It’s actually been on my radar since it came out, I just never really thought to order it till I saw it on sale.

Snow White isn’t my favorite princess/movie even though the storyline is interesting. I just feel like the OG Disney-version of the character lacks. She is so meek and doesn’t really do much—and her voice gets on my nerves. So I was really hopeful that with this book I could get a version of the character that I actually liked.

The storyline differs a bit in some key parts, but I actually liked it. There isn’t too much to the original tale, and the changes made it a lot more interesting and offered some background and depth.

First, Lorelai—AKA Snow White—has a brother in this tale. The whole relationship between the two is really sweet, they fled together when their step-mother killed their father and took control of the kingdom. But really, they’re best friends and she’s super protective of him and I love good sibling relationships. He’s also funny and charming which plays off her a bit tougher exterior well. Continue reading